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Bending veneer

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Forum topic by lateralus819 posted 10-22-2014 08:44 PM 1139 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1350 days


10-22-2014 08:44 PM

Anyone have any tips on bending veneer?

Trying out some veneer bending to make some small-ish boxes. Using 1/16 veneer.

I tried using a small clothes iron and some water, and it did work. I was having a hard time getting it to hold a tighter radius in the corners. Seems like it wants to spring back.


10 replies so far

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john2005

1741 posts in 1639 days


#1 posted 10-22-2014 09:24 PM

Steam it first. Might be able to iron on even.

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

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runswithscissors

2177 posts in 1486 days


#2 posted 10-22-2014 09:40 PM

Try a heat gun. No moisture needed. Be careful not to scorch the wood. Takes a bit of practice to get a feel for it.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1636 posts in 1778 days


#3 posted 10-22-2014 10:07 PM

The hot pipe technique used by instrument makers might do the trick since veneers probably qualify as “air-dried” wood.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View CharlieK's profile

CharlieK

467 posts in 3254 days


#4 posted 10-24-2014 12:19 AM

I second the hot pipe method.

I watched Seth Rollins use a frying pan of hot water, but I have never tried it. He just dipped the wood in the water and waited for it to soften, but I think you might get better control with the hot pipe.

I found this tutorial with a google search: Hot Pipe Bending

Let me know how it turns out!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans http://www.Jack-Bench.com

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1350 days


#5 posted 10-24-2014 01:24 AM

Thanks charlie. What is a good way to keep the pipe heated?

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Andre

1021 posts in 1267 days


#6 posted 10-24-2014 01:29 AM

I believe Kiefer uses Fabric softener, check out his blog?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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Gary

8968 posts in 2894 days


#7 posted 10-24-2014 01:37 AM

Fabric softener works well. Or, if you’re into spending money, there is a commercial solution you can get

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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runswithscissors

2177 posts in 1486 days


#8 posted 10-27-2014 12:48 AM

Fine Woodworking had an article about a hot pipe rigged up with a propane torch aimed at the end of the pipe (to shoot flame through the pipe). I haven’t tried that, as it looks risky, and I have such good luck with my heat gun method. The only advantage I see to the hot pipe is you can concentrate the bend in a very narrow area, which might be desirable in your project.

To compensate for springback you have to over bend. The Pacific NW coast indians made bent wood boxes, usually out of yellow cedar. Though the sides were thick (1/2”-3/4”), they notched the corners to leave about 1/16” or so for bending. They made some beautiful, quite large boxes this way. You can google info on these.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1350 days


#9 posted 10-27-2014 01:35 AM

I saw a video of that actually Runswithscissors! Quite amazing to say the least!

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1138 posts in 1135 days


#10 posted 10-27-2014 01:57 AM

The hot pipe with a gas bottle will work fine. 1/16 in. would be a very thin guitar side, so you could try for a very tight radius. If the timber has run out grain, it will crack. No need to pre soak, just keep the dried out areas wet with a spritzer bottle.( bend and check to see if it is getting dry, spritz, bend ) I have a stainless steel strap to help capture steam and help control fibers lifting on the bend. A wet sock on the pipe gives extra steam and limits burn.

The bass in my avatar was only my second acoustic build. The sides are 2.7mm x 225mm. I pre-soaked and the timber dried with a slight ripple. I found out later to just wet both sides and spritz as necessary.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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